A red-haired woman walks away from a man on a narrow strees

5 reasons she won’t commit

by Eharmony Editorial Team - July 20, 2011

You’ve met the woman of your dreams but every time you try to move the relationship forward your efforts are met with a distinct lack of enthusiasm. Find out some of the common reasons why women won’t commit in relationships.

We aren’t necessarily talking about the big commitments here. Every relationship develops over a period of time and each stage requires both parties to be willing to move forward and commit to the next stage. This is a gradual process and usually unconscious for the most part. You may commit to talking online at a certain time, then commit to meet somewhere for a date, then agree to see each other again at a certain time and place. Before we get to any of the big life commitments like marriage and children we have usually made dozens of small commitments to each other.

There are some people who are flaky and unreliable right from the off and these relationships don’t usually get off the ground but there are also others where it has all been going well, you like her, she likes you yet whenever the subject of a future together comes up she pulls back, goes quiet or changes the subject leaving you with a sense that she isn’t as committed as you are. This can be confusing, upsetting and difficult to talk about. Here are some of the possible reasons this could happen:

1.    She was hurt in the past
The first and most obvious reason that someone is unwilling to commit in a new relationship is because they are still carrying hurt from a previous one. We learn from our experiences and if a relationship ended badly then it can affect our trust, self-esteem and willingness to put ourselves in a vulnerable position again. This is true for everyone and our faith is usually restored when we have been through a grieving period, licked our wounds and started meeting new people.

For some women though the process isn’t that simple. If she has found herself in a relationship with a man who started off as charming and loving but became domineering, aggressive, bullying and she was unable to stand up for herself this could seriously affect her ability to commit again. We’re not suggesting that men don’t also find themselves in these kinds of relationships but despite the modern times we live in most women are physically smaller and weaker than their male counterparts and therefore more vulnerable to being dominated in this way.

If this is the case be patient and let her talk about it when she is ready.

2.    Going too fast
It might be that she is willing to commit but that you are simply moving at a different pace. New relationships are very exciting and it can be tempting to want to leap in and profess your undying love on the second date if you feel you have finally found ‘the one’.  As a general rule of thumb we suggest six dates before you begin to talk about any long-term commitment. Give yourselves time to get to know each other, enjoy the process. Although most women say that they want a man who is sensitive and romantic she can quickly lose respect for a man who wants to marry her without having taken the time to get to know her. There might be a sense of “you wouldn’t feel like that if you really knew me” so get to know her, this takes time.

3.     Friends and family
Women are often strongly influenced by the opinion of their family and friends. It might be that she loves being with you because you are great company on a one-to-one but when you are around her family and friends you just don’t shine in the same way. This is a common problem and women will openly ask their family and friends for their opinion on a new partner.

Whether you like it or not the answer will have an influence on her decision to take it further. Mothers of course are the crucial influence so whatever you do try to get to know her too. We all love to talk about ourselves. Show interest in her friends and family, ask questions, and remember details. It might seem like a big ask but it can make all the difference in a long run.

4.    Different life goals
She may be really into you, love spending time with you but if there is no hope of you fathering her children, either because of choice or circumstances, she might not commit. Or it may be the other way round, you desperately want a family and she doesn’t. If you met her on eHarmony, the question of children is covered in the Relationship Questionnaire but women do change their minds, particularly in their 30s when their biological clock begins to tick.

5.    Keeping options open
She may just be playing the field. When people join eHarmony for example, they usually get a number of matches. While some people will just choose one to focus on at any one time others might be going on a date with someone different every other night. Either approach is OK as long as all parties are open and upfront. It may be that you would prefer her to focus exclusively on getting to know you and if that is the case you must be honest about your feelings.